NASA has planned to build a Starshade to look for Alien Planets. Starshade exoplanet-hunting missions may be technologically daunting.
Some alien planets could be packing some major bling, according to a new study that predicts planets around other stars could be made largely of diamond. According to Ohio State University Earth scientist Wendy Panero, leader of the study, they think a diamond planet must be a very cold, dark place. These potential giant terrestrial planets, whose insides could be up to 50-percent diamond, are dubbed “carbon super-Earths” by scientists. Diamonds are very good at transferring heat, so a carbon super-Earth’s interior would quickly freeze as all its heat escaped.
Without strong heat in its core, like Earth has, a diamond planet would have no geothermal energy, which means it would lack plate tectonics, a magnetic field and an atmosphere all things thought to make Earth so hospitable to life. According to Cayman Unterborn, a graduate student at Ohio State University it’s possible for planets that are as big as fifteen times the mass of the Earth to be half made of diamond.
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